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Lawmakers seek update of Great Lakes disaster maps

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Members of Congress want to modernize computer maps that assess which natural resources and infrastructure in the Great Lakes region are most vulnerable to disasters.

Environmental Sensitivity Index maps are developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They provide information that supports advance planning to deal with oil spills, big storms and other calamities.

Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan and Todd Young of Indiana have joined several House members from both parties to introduce legislation requiring the first revision of the maps in more than 20 years.

When revised, the maps would provide accurate assessments of coastal resources that are at risk. These include endangered and threatened species, delicate shoreline habitats and resources such as beaches, parks and boat ramps.

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